Cabbage Benefits: 5 Reasons to Eat More Cabbage

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 11/04/2023

Cabbage is a keto-friendly vegetable with impressive health benefits. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and phytochemicals with potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Cabbage is also rich in glutamine and has a long history of being used as a natural remedy for many digestive issues, including ulcers and gastritis.

Discover more health benefits of cabbage and how you can include this delicious vegetable in your keto diet.

Red cabbage and raw green cabbage

What is cabbage?

Cabbage belongs to the Brassica family and is closely related to Brussels sprouts, kale, and bok choy. Because cabbage is inexpensive, easy to grow, and can be stored for prolonged periods, it’s found in many traditional dishes worldwide.   

While green and red cabbage are the most widespread varieties, Savoy cabbage and Napa cabbage are becoming increasingly popular and are readily available in most supermarkets. 

Cabbage is a versatile food that can be eaten raw, cooked, or fermented. It’s easy to prepare and works great in salads, slaws, stir-fries, and various other dishes. 

Watch the video below to learn why you should be eating cabbage regularly. 

Red vs. green cabbage: which is healthier?

All types of cabbage are incredibly nutritious. They’re rich sources of vitamins, dietary fiber, and sulfur-containing chemicals linked to improved digestive health, hormonal balance, and lower risk of heart disease. 

While green cabbage contains more vitamin K, an essential nutrient for bone health and blood clotting, red cabbage contains significantly more beta-carotene and vitamin C than green cabbage. 

Red cabbage is also a rich source of anthocyanins, a health-promoting pigment responsible for its distinct red color.

Sauerkraut is green cabbage in its fermented form. It’s an exceptionally rich source of vitamin C and a potent prebiotic food that promotes a diverse microflora and supports a healthy digestive tract.   

To take advantage of cabbage's many health benefits, it's best to consume green and red cabbage regularly. 

Chopped cabbage

Five benefits of cabbage

Research suggests that a diet high in Brassica vegetables, including cabbage, has profound implications for your health. Frequent cabbage consumption may lower cancer risk, promote digestive health, and support a healthy cardiovascular system.

If you are a cabbage fan, you already benefit from its many health benefits. But if you haven’t tried cabbage lately, here are five reasons why eating cabbage is an excellent choice to support your health.      

1. Digestive health 

If you are prone to ulcers or gastritis, cabbage should regularly feature on your menu plan. 

Cabbage is a rich source of glutamine, an amino acid essential for gut health. Glutamine is the primary fuel for the cells of your intestines, helps your gut lining to grow and repair, and reduces inflammation in your digestive tract. 

Fermented cabbage, or sauerkraut, is a potent probiotic food that feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. A healthy intestinal microflora may help protect against colon cancer, promote immunity, and lower the risk of digestive issues, including diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and stomach ulcers. 

2. Anti-inflammatory

Cabbage has potent anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of glucosinolate. This sulfur-containing compound has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and may help reduce symptoms of inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. 

Additionally, cabbage is high in antioxidants, which can help to reduce oxidative stress, cellular damage, and premature aging. 

Cardiovascular system

3. Heart health

When it comes to heart-healthy foods, cabbage often is overlooked. Yet, cabbage is rich in several nutrients linked to improved heart health, and regular cabbage intake is connected to a decreased risk of developing heart disease. 

Red cabbage contains anthocyanins, health-promoting plant compounds that protect your blood vessels from inflammation, help regulate blood pressure, and support a healthy cardiovascular system.

What’s more, cabbage is high in soluble fiber and a good source of plant sterols, which help lower harmful LDL cholesterol linked to stroke and heart attacks. 

4. Anticancer

Evidence suggests that cabbage may play a significant role in cancer prevention. Cabbage contains sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, which have antitumor effects by inhibiting the development and growth of cancer cells. 

Additionally, cabbage is a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect your cells and DNA from damage by free radicals and may reduce the risk of cancer. 

5. Metabolic health 

A recent study suggests that cabbage can reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes and may protect organs from complications as a result of chronic blood sugar imbalances. 

It’s believed that cabbage contains several bioactive compounds that support blood sugar regulation, decrease oxidative stress, and promote healthy insulin secretion. 

Cooked cabbage rolls

Three delicious ways to have cabbage on keto 

Because cabbage is low-carb, it’s on the Keto Food List. One cup of raw cabbage contains only two grams of net carbs, making it ideal for your ketogenic diet. 

1. Sauteed 

Cabbage is an excellent side dish that works well as a base for most fish, meat, and egg dishes. If you enjoy home-cooked comfort food, these recipes are perfect for you.

Tuna Cabbage Casserole

Salmon Cabbage Bowl 

Keto Fried Cabbage with Bacon  

Cabbage/Onion Omelet

2. Roasted

Cabbage can also be the star of the show. Roasting cabbage brings out its mild, slightly sweet flavor, making it an excellent main dish. Check out these roasted cabbage recipes if you want to include more cabbage in your menu plan.

Keto Roasted Cabbage Wedges

Keto Roasted Cabbage Steaks 

3. Wrapped

If you are looking for a keto-friendly tortilla alternative, look no further! Cabbage leaves are ideal for keto-friendly wraps. Next time you crave beef tacos, try this simple but delicious recipe. 

Keto Cabbage Cups  

bowl of sauerkraut

Key takeaways

Cabbage is an often overlooked superfood with impressive benefits for your health. Cabbage has been used for centuries to support digestive health and as a natural remedy for gastritis and stomach ulcers. 

This keto-approved cruciferous vegetable is rich in anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that may lower your risk of heart disease, support a strong immune system, and promote healthy blood pressure. 

Cabbage is a low-carb, keto-approved food and a versatile ingredient that you can enjoy raw, cooked, or fermented. 


1. Is cabbage a superfood?

Yes, cabbage is a superfood with many health benefits. It is a good source of vitamins C and K, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. 

Regularly eating cabbage helps to keep your digestive system healthy, supports your immune system, and promotes healthy blood pressure.  

2. Can I have cabbage on Healthy Keto®?

Yes! Cabbage is a perfect choice if you are doing Healthy Keto. Cabbage is a low-carb food with exceptional nutritional value that supports your health. 

3. Is cabbage low FODMAP?

Yes, cabbage is low in FODMAPs and doesn’t cause digestive symptoms in most people. 

If you are sensitive to FODMAPs, it’s best to limit Napa and Savoy cabbage consumption because these cabbage varieties contain slightly more FODMAPs than green and red cabbage. 


4. Does cabbage have high oxalates? 

Compared to other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage is considered low in oxalates. If you follow a low-oxalate diet, it’s safe to eat cabbage regularly. 

5. Is cabbage good for you?

Yes, cabbage has many health benefits. Cabbage helps to lower high blood pressure, support healthy blood vessels, and may reduce your risk of chronic inflammation. 

Sauerkraut and kimchi are fermented cabbage products that promote gut health and feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut linked to improved immune and brain health. 

6. Is red or green cabbage healthier?

Red cabbage contains more vitamin C, beta-carotene, and anthocyanins than green cabbage. In contrast, green cabbage has more vitamin K. 

To take advantage of the many health benefits of cabbage, it’s best to consume all different varieties of cabbage regularly.


7. Is cabbage healthier cooked or raw?

While cooked and raw cabbage is healthy, raw cabbage contains more health-promoting nutrients. 

If you prefer cooked cabbage, steaming or lightly sauteeing is best to preserve nutrients. Overcooking cabbage destroys glutamine, a heat-sensitive amino acid linked to cabbages’ impressive benefits to gut health. 

8. Is cabbage good for weight loss?

Yes, cabbage is an excellent food if you are trying to lose weight. Cabbage is low in calories and high in fiber. 

Dietary fiber isn’t digested in your digestive tract, which makes you feel fuller for prolonged periods, curbs hunger, and helps to prevent overeating. 

9. Can I eat cabbage every day?

Eating cabbage daily is an excellent choice to promote a healthy body. Cabbage is a nutritious keto-friendly food that’s low in calories and a rich source of health-promoting nutrients. 

However, the high amounts of vitamin K in cabbage can interfere with blood thinning medications, and it’s best to avoid excessive amounts of cabbage if you are taking blood thinners.  

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